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Engine Simulation for Powertrain Component Testing

Engine Simulation for Powertrain Component Testing

Automotive manufacturers are continually driven to reduce development time for increasingly complex vehicle powertrain components, and the powertrain is the largest source of automotive noise and vibration problems.  Often the component is lightly damped. This quickly leads to significant resonant amplification of vibration.

Engine crankshafts exhibit cyclic irregularities that appear as torsional vibration pulses (acyclism) in the drive train.  Acyclism occurs at harmonics of the engine speed. Engines of different cylinder configuration and displacement produce different levels of acyclism at different harmonics. Testing using the acyclism of the drive train on rotating components is a requirement for durability testing of these components.

Additionally, in many cases the engine is not available for testing of powertrain components, particularly for a pre-production engine design. Using an engine simulation system, testing can be performed, even when the engine is not available.

Typical components that can be tested using engine simulation include:

  • Front Engine Accessory Drive (FEAD) components
  • Torsional vibration dampers
  • Couplings
  • Gears
  • Transmissions
  • Clutches
  • Transfer Cases
  • Drivelines
  • Belt Drives

Engine simulation systems can be programmed to simulate an engine of virtually any displacement and any number of cylinders. For automotive suppliers that provide components for a large variety of engine configurations, this is a significant benefit. The Engine Simulator System also saves on facilities and operational costs by not requiring fuel and exhaust handling systems.

Engine simulation systems also produce very repeatable results. This is particularly important when comparing results of product design modifications.

The Data Physics SignalStar Engine Simulator Controller is used to provide closed loop control of the engine speed and torsional vibration. The user can specify harmonic orders and torsional vibration amplitudes to simulate engines of any displacement and number of cylinders.

Learn more about SignalStar Vibration Controllers